Tommy Singer’s brother William also used the Chip Inlay technique

William Singer, the brother of Charlie, Jackie and the late Tommy Singer, has used various hallmarks since 1972: SD (both side by side and offset as below), SDX, SDXX, SDV, S/D, all variations of the Singer-Dodge family shop hallmark.

BU130-BG-inlay-buffalo-singer-3Here is an example of William Singer’s chip inlay – a buffalo belt buckle.

BU130-BG-inlay-buffalo-singer-1

Tommy Singer has been credited with first using chip inlay in 1970. His brother began using the technique in 1972.

What is Chip Inlay?

Chip inlay is a method where cavities in jewelry are filled with a mixture of crushed stone, typically turquoise and coral, and epoxy resin. The piece is then polished smooth after the resin has hardened

Paula

What is the gold and black on my Sterling Silver Singer cross?

Paula,

I just received the beautiful Tom Singer cross. But I do have a question
about the cross. It is stated to be sterling but the front surface is copper
colored. Can you explain the process used to make it that way?

Len

NPC602-AB-rsinger-B-1Hi Len,

The cross is solid sterling silver and Tommy Singer (and his son Richard whose crosses I am using to illustrate this article) oxidizes part of it (the black areas) for accent and puts a layer of 12 K gold on other parts of the design. This is called gold filled.

You can read about Gold Filled here

http://www.horsekeeping.com/jewelry/gold.htm

Beautiful cross !!!

NPC606-coral-rsinger-350hs
Paula

Is this a Tommy Singer Chip Inlay Bracelet?

Hi Paula,
I currently have a chip inlay bracelet I bought that was very strongly claimed to be a
Tommy Singer chip inlay bracelet (pictures are attached). I am trying to get some verification on if Tommy made it or not. Unfortunately, the bracelet appears to be worn (on the inside) and there are no makers mark on it (I have also been told that Tommy did not mark some of his items). It also appears to be quite thin. Every Tommy Singer
bracelet that I have seen that was verified to be made by Tommy has been very thick.

I understand that this is a bit of a shot in the dark, but I just thought I would ask if you knew of any way to verify the bracelet. I realize that the bracelet I have may very well not have been made by Tommy. That’s OK. I just want to verify “yes/no”. Any other
recommendations that you may have to verify the authenticity of the this bracelet would be most appreciated. I am also trying to see if I can get a chip inlay bracelet made by Tommy for my wife.

The reason for my quest is that my wife’s mother had a Tommy Singer bracelet for many years and when her mother died, my wife took possession of her mother’s bracelet. She unfortunately lost it and we have been attempting to replace it for the last couple of years.

Thank You,
Gordon

xxx 043 xxx 044 xxx 048Hi Gordon,

To give other readers some background.

What is Chip Inlay?

Chip inlay is a method where cavities in jewelry are filled with a mixture of crushed stone, typically turquoise and coral, and epoxy resin. The piece is then polished smooth after the resin has hardened. Navajo Tommy Singer is often credited for first using chip inlay in Native American jewelry.

Who is Tommy Singer?

Known world wide for his silver work, chip inlay and necklaces, Tommy (Thomas) Singer pieces are highly collectible and sought after. The Singer family has been involved in silversmithing, stone and beadwork for a very long time, handing the art down from one generation to another. Tommy Singer grew up on in the community of Dilcon on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona.

The hallmark stamp shown above on your bracelet is the last half of STERLING………a partial R and LING.

As far as whether or not this is a Tommy Singer piece, I could not say.

We have had similar chip inlay pieces, both vintage and contemporary, in our store that were made by a variety of other Navajo artists.

Here is a vintage Tommy Singer ladies watch

W249-chip-timex-singer-4Best of luck with your search, Paula

Any information on this well worn buckle?

Hi Paula,

I wonder if you know anything about this old buckle. Tony

Hi Tony,

It is chip inlay.

Chip inlay is a method where cavities in jewelry are filled with a mixture of crushed stone, typically turquoise and coral, and epoxy resin. The piece is then polished smooth after the resin has hardened. Navajo Tommy Singer is credited for first using chip inlay in Native American jewelry.

It is of a peyote or water bird – you can read about that symbol by clicking this phrase.

It is likely by Tommy Singer, Navajo silversmith.  Here are some articles about other Tommy Singer pieces.

Pin Pendant

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Chip Inlay Pin with TC S Hallmark

Hi Paula:

I have a piece that is SS with turquoise chip inlay. The hallmark is TC with a S over the C. I’ve been told it may be Tommy Singer’s work. I would like to track down the artist. Can you help?

Kirk

Hi Kirk,

In The Little Book of Marks on Southwestern Silver by Bille Hougart (2011) that hallmark is shown in a photo and is attributed to Tommy Singer.

Paula

What tribe are these rings from and when?

I wear these rings daily. They are my personal rings and are just wondering when and what tribe they may be from. Was told dates between 1930 and 1950. Nothing confirmed on tribe. No markings inside band just silver folding marks on ring without the coral.

Thanks again, Wade

Hi Wade,

These chip inlay rings look like they are Navajo made. As to when they were made, well since chip inlay techniques are said to have been invented in the 1960s by Tommy Singer , these rings are probably from after that, most likely 1970s or later.

We have some rings very similar to these in our pawn shop .

What is Chip Inlay?

Chip inlay is a method where cavities in jewelry are filled with a mixture of crushed stone, typically turquoise and coral, and epoxy resin. The piece is then polished smooth after the resin has hardened. Navajo Tommy Singer is often credited for first using chip inlay in Native American jewelry.

Is this chip inlay pin pendant an early Tommy Singer piece?

Hi Paula !

Happy Holidays to you and your Family! 

In researching a silver piece I own, I came upon your blog.  I’m trying to find out if the combo brooch/pin/pendant is by the silversmith Tommy Singer.  The design has chip inlay.  On the back, there is a capital “T” hallmark.  I understand this might be an earlier hallmark. 

I was looking to receive your opinion on if this was infact Tommy Singer’s work.  May I send you photos of the piece so you can help to identify the piece?  (I have 2 photos)

Thank you for your time.

Sincerely,  Dena

Hi Dena,

Happy Holidays to you too !

Judging from the photos you sent, it  looks like early Tommy Singer chip inlay of a yei figure.

What is Chip Inlay?

Chip inlay is a method where cavities in jewelry are filled with a mixture of crushed stone, typically turquoise and coral, and epoxy resin. The piece is then polished smooth after the resin has hardened. Navajo Tommy Singer is often credited for first using chip inlay in Native American jewelry.

The T hallmark is attributed to Navajo silversmith Tommy Singer in these two books:

Hallmarks of the Southwest by Barton Wright

and

The Little Book of Marks on Southwestern Silver by Bille Hougart.